When it was time for Jeremiah to go to bed, Angie listened to him say his prayers and then tucked him in so she could read him a story before she kissed him good-night. She and Charles always took turns tucking him in and reading to him. Tonight she read him "Fun With Dick and Jane", which was his favorite book next to "Curious George". When she had kissed him good-night and turned off the light (except for the dinosaur night light on Jeremiah's nightstand), she went downstairs to Charles, who was sitting on the sofa watching TV. She joined him on the couch, wrapped her arms around his neck, and snuggled on his chest.
Charles turned to her. "Hey, baby," he said as he kissed her tenderly. "So, did you get our little rugrat to sleep?"
"Well, you know our son," Angie answered. "He won't actually be ASLEEP for another hour."
"So, what did you and Jeremiah talk about today?" Angie asked. "And why were you crying?"
Charles picked up his wife's hand and held it in both of his. "I was thinking about Ty again. You know, the sermon at church today really got to me. Of all the commands in the Bible, probably the one I struggle with the most is the one where God tells us to love and pray for our enemies."
Angie giggled a little. "Honey, EVERYBODY struggles with that one," she said.
"True," Charles agreed, "but it's especially hard to do when some heartless guy kills a friend who was like a brother to you." He leaned back against the sofa and closed his eyes. "Oh, Angie, I know that bullet was meant for me and that it was years ago, but I still sometimes feel so guilty, wishing I'd taken the bullet instead of him."
Angie leaned back to where Charles was and snuggled close to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck again. "I'm thankful that you didn't, though. What would Jeremiah and I do without you? Come to think of it, if I'd lost you, there'd be no Jeremiah--and no us."
Charles stroked Angie's hair. "Whenever I'm sad, God sure uses you and Jeremiah to comfort me," he said softly. "You know, I'd made a promise to Jeremiah that I'd ask God to help me pray for and love Ty's shooter. I feel like this is hard for me to do alone, so could you please hold my hand and join me?"
Angie smiled. "Certainly." She grabbed Charles's hand and held it tightly.
"Thanks, honey," Charles said. "Okay now." He closed his eyes, and Angie closed hers. "Dear Jesus, we just come before You and ask You to give me the strength to do Your will when it comes to the man who killed Ty, that You'll help me to pray for him and love him the way You love people. I have such anger toward him and have desired so many times to get revenge, but I know that if I'm not careful, this rage will consume me and give me an obsession with killing this man. But tonight I give my anger to You so I can love an enemy as You have instructed me to do, as You forgave Your enemies at the cross--for we were all Your enemies before we came to know You and got saved, and I pray for Ty's shooter, that he'll come to know You and learn to love as You love, that he'll love rather than hate. We love You and ask these things in Your name. Amen."
Charles and Angie opened their eyes, and Angie hugged Charles around the neck once again. "That's why I fell in love with you, Charles Williams!" she exclaimed. "I love you for the man of God that you are!"
Charles kissed his wife tenderly on the lips. "And I love you, Angie Williams, for the beautiful woman of God that you are."
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